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12 Regional Students Recognized for Academic Excellence


The Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals recently released the Missouri Scholars 100 list, recognizing the top 100 students in the state.

The MASSP invites schools across the state to nominate students for this recognition. Each student nominated is required to meet specific criteria, including a minimum grade-point average of 3.75, a minimum score of 29 on the ACT or 1,900 on the SAT, and participate in school activities or volunteer in the community.

Of the 100 students recognized, 12 reside in areas around Southwest Missouri. Nixa High was one of two area schools to have two students recognized – Abigail Hardin and Kaleb Barker. Mark McGehee is the principal of Nixa High.

“I think it’s a testament in our school to the students we have in our school and to the rigor of our academic curriculum.”

“I feel very honored. I know that there’s a lot of students in Missouri, and to know that I’m in one of the top 100 spots by the criteria they have, it’s just kind of amazing,” Hardin said.

“I also think it’s a pretty big honor. There are a lot of competitive students, especially from big schools in Kansas City and St. Louis, and it’s just neat to think that we’re up there with them,” Barker said.

Aside from their academic successes, Hardin and Barker volunteer time towards community service. Hardin said she does tutoring both in and out of school, and also helped out at an engineering camp last summer.

Barker said his community involvement includes volunteering through his church. Barker is also an Eagle Scout, and partakes in service projects with the Boy Scouts of America.

Branson High School is the other area high school to have two students recognized in the Missouri Top 100, Warut Vijitbenjaronk and Alexander Cullison.

The rest of the students from Southwest Missouri are: Sara Spence (Parkview High, Springfield), Devon Russel (College Heights Christian, Joplin), Erin Psajdl (Carl Junction), Clayton Mansel (Republic), Sharon Lee (Central High, Springfield), Tucker Jennings (Ozark), Caroline Dade (Logan-Rogersville High, Rogersville), and Madison Buzzard (Webb City).